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New baby? One thing is essential

The group in 2011 at Charlotte’s first birthday.A HAWKESBURY mother has found her mothers’ group has had such a profound effect on her and her comrades’ lives, she wanted to make sure prospective mothers were aware of how critical they were.

Erin O’Connor from Londonderry, now mother of two girls aged 5 and 3, said their first-born children were all off to school this year and celebrated with a catch up with all the children dressed in their new uniforms fromnine different schools.

“Six years on, we’restill the greatest of friends, and the group has even blossomed into a group of 20 children since they all met,” Ms O’Connor said.

Her mothers’ group began for someof them in their antenatal classin 2010, formed at the Community Health Centre at Hawkesbury Hospital. These expectant mothers then met othersafter their births at the hospital’smeet and greet sessionsfor first-time mothers.

The group broke off and started organising its own get togethers after a number of weeks, at Greenhills Centre at South Windsor and then people’s places each week, and formed a core of 10 regulars.

Another member, Kristy Sherrott of Pitt Town has three children now – Macie, 5, Drew, 3and Mollie,10 months.

“We’re all awesome friends now,” she said. “Macie is at Pitt Town Public School and there is another girl there from our mother’s group.”

She said that was great for Macie to know someone when she started.

“We’d meet at each other’s houses, parks and we also started a book club once a month. Not only have the kids got friends, we’ve got friends for life.

“I recommend it for other mothers. It’s so valuable. Not only have the kids benefitted, it gave us another social outlet. We’re all at the same stage at the same time, which is very powerful.”

Kelly Kesby of Windsor said it was very helpful as well. “Iwas an older mother, and didn’t know what I was doing!” she said with a laugh. The mother of afive year old, she said of the group “I loved it! I don’t know what I would have done without it.”

“It was my social outing for the week. No-one was judgemental, everyone was there for the same reason. It made you feel normal.”

She said as more children came along, the group got too big to meet at each other’s places and would meet at a park instead. Now that many of the mothers have gone back to work she said it was too hard to meet weekly and they now only meet spasmodically.

“We have a closed Facebook page which makes life easier too for organising things. It’s too hard to ring everybody if you’re going down the park. You just put it on our Facebook page and if anyone’s available they can come along.

“I feel really blessed to have met everybody. There’s a few friends from it I’ll have for life, I think. To people thinking about it, I’d say ‘make the effort, even though it’s hard to get out the door’.”

The first borns of the mothers’ group, off to school at nine different Hawkesbury schools.

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